Another day, another celeb apology. Only this time, it’s LONG overdue.
On Friday, Variety reported that Man of the Woods artist Justin Timberlake officially issued an apology to pop superstar Britney Spears and icon Janet Jackson.
You may recall Jackson and Timberlake’s 2004 Super Bowl performance when Timberlake tugged on a piece of Jackson’s outfit, exposing her breast in an alleged “wardrobe malfunction.” After that moment, Jackson’s career took a noticeable hit. Over the years, many have cited Timberlake as the cause, arguing that it was his actions and/or lack thereof that contributed largely to Jackson’s public scrutiny. (To be fair, that scrutiny is really only coming from one part of America because the other part absolutely STANS for Janet.) All the while, Timberlake’s star has continued to shine.
Unfortunately, the latter sentiment can also be said of Spears as well. Spears and Timberlake dated back when they were both up and coming, influential music stars back in the early 2000s. But it was their highly publicized breakup that proved to be a contentious turning point for Spears’ career—yet not Timberlake’s. But now, thanks to a new FX documentary, Framing Britney Spears, many are calling for Timberlake to answer for the part he played in both women’s career downfalls. (To be clear, a lot of people have been calling Timberlake out for years, but it seems this time their calls are finally being answered.)
Timberlake expressed his remorse, writing in a statement posted to social media:
“I’ve seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond,” he wrote. “I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right. I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism. I specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed.
He added, “I also feel compelled to respond, in part, because everyone involved deserves better and most importantly, because this is a larger conversation that I wholeheartedly want to be part of and grow from.”